IBM on cloud nine after Q4 results

Written by Hannah McGrath

IBM has posted its first annual revenue growth since 2011, as the company’s cloud, software and services growth strategy begins to take fruit.

Shares in the US technology services giant rose seven per cent after its fourth quarter earnings estimates were announced, stating it was on track to post above expectations full-year profits.

Jim Kavanaugh, IBM’s chief financial officer, told Reuters that 2018 had been a “very important inflection year” for the company, and the first time in several years the company has increased revenue, operating income and earnings per share at the same.

He added that the company has secured $16 billion dollars of signings in the fourth quarter, up 21 per cent. “We had 16 deals greater than $100 million which talks to the value of our hybrid cloud, multi-cloud value proposition,” he said.

The results will be seen as proof of the efficacy of the company’s strategic retreat from its IT hardware business towards a cloud-led strategy aimed at helping major corporates integrate or ‘stitch together’ multiple data storage clouds, such as a £426 million partnership with Vodafone announced last week.

In October IBM announced it was extending its cloud hosting partnership with French banking giant BNP Paribas for eight years.

IBM consolidated its commitment to the move into cloud last October when it signed a deal buy cloud computing firm Red Hat for a record $34 billion.